Today, I want to share insights about a heartwarming new charity program that I am hoping quilters and others, will embrace with compassion and want to help. There are a variety of easy ways to help, but first I want to share a few insights about what this new non-profit's mission is all about.
And, while I rarely share personal insights on my blog, I want to share why this personally means so much to me. This new non-profit charity program is called "Heaven Sent" (aka Pitter Patter Babies Matter).
I learned about it from Barb Gaddy of Bejeweled Quilts, by Barb. If you know Barb you know she is not only a great quilter, but someone who gives from the heart. She has a cousin, Tracy, who is a Funeral Home Director and Tracy had been giving small caskets for these babies, as well as free funerals when Barb began making small baby quilts. This grass roots charity program decided to make the commitment to make this a national program, thus taking the steps this year to become a non-profit. They need volunteers to help with rolling out to your area, as well as donations of small quilts and money to help with the start up expenses of non-profit status, website, etc..
Bringing comfort and meaning to the life and loss of a child.
Heaven Sent, Corp's mission is to assist grief recovery by providing Pitter Patter swaddling and keepsake blankets through our Pitter Patter Funeral Home Partnering Program, to bereft mothers who have suffered pre-term or infant loss under the age of one year. This program promotes grief healing and recovery by creating a bond for the surviving mother to her lost child, offering tangible proof that the baby was real and existed, delivering comfort and security that the baby was a significant addition and tragic loss to the surviving family, and solidifying the birth space the baby occupies within the family structure, guaranteeing that the baby has significance and will never be forgotten.
Heaven Sent, Corp. families through the immediate loss of their babies by providing a physical link to the infant through a swaddling blanket for the baby's burial or cremation and a coordinating keepsake blanket square for the surviving mother through our Pitter Patter Funeral Home Partnering Program for pre-term loss and infants under the age of one year. Our goal is to offer grief recovery assistance and change the accepted perception of a pre-term loss from a non-loss to a profound loss; and an infant loss from an insignificant loss to a very real and deeply profound loss, thereby affording the bereft family recognition in their grief, along with significance of their baby's existence.
Here is the beautiful quilt that is being raffled off this month, to help raise funds for this new non-profit. This quilt was made by Barb Gaddy of Bejeweled Quilts by Barb.
Raffle tickets are only $1 and 100% of the funds go to help this non-profit offset expenses for obtaining non-profit status, as well as launching a much needed website. You can purchase your raffle tickets via PayPal (or other arrangements directly with Barb Gaddy). If you do not have her email or PayPal info, please leave a comment and I will send you this info directly.
You may also want to consider becoming a Blanketear Ambassador. Basically, volunteer quilters are needed to make small quilts that can be used to wrap these small babies in, as they are given to their parents for one last time to hold, as well as to cover them in their coffin, or even drap over their coffin during their funeral. Regional coordinators are also needed to help coordinate quilter activities in their respective areas, along with supplying hospitals and funeral homes with these quilted blankets. Click here to sign up as a Blanketear Ambassador.MY PERSONAL STORY:
My mother had a difficult time getting pregnant, as a young woman. She had several miscarriages and needless to say, when she finally got pregnant and carried to term, both of my parents were delighted. Unfortunately, my older brother was strangled by the umbilical cord and died a few days after birth. My mother had difficulties talking about his death her entire life and the times she would slightly mention it, was under the context of how careful one needs to be during pregnancy. She probably always held a guilt that she did something wrong during her pregnancy. Now, as an adult, I still look at pregnancy seriously and realize the importance of good medical care, eating right, careful exercise as you are taking care of two people.
Sadly, like many of us, I've also had some close friends that carried to term what they thought was a healthy baby, to have that baby die during birth, or within a few days afterwards. I know that they will grieve for that child for the rest of their lives, yet there are few opportunities to ever discuss such pain with others.
While a small quilt may be a small gesture, it does bring great comfort to those dealing with such a loss. It will never bring their child back, but it is a gesture of comfort and love that they can also opt to bring home that small quilt and hug in, as they hold the memories and broken hope and dreams of that child in their hearts for the rest of their life.
This is why I'm so passionate about Heaven Sent and I hope you will have the compassion to help to. While you may already be busy helping with other charity quilts, consider that the numbers for Heaven Sent will certainly be lower as fewer quilts will be needed and the quilts for this charity will certainly be smaller. Maybe you know a Quilt Guild, or other quilters that would want to help. Spreading the word is a great way to help. Of course, every $1 donation also helps to get this new non-profit up and running.